Robert Chorney named Vernon's teacher of the year

| 29 Sep 2011 | 02:40

VERNON — When his car wouldn’t start early Wednesday morning, Bob Chorney said he was afraid he was in for a really bad day. In fact, according to his department supervisor, it was the first day in nearly 30 years that Chorney was late to school. But that all changed before the first bell rang at 7:10 when Vernon Township’s Superintendent of Schools Anthony Macerino announced to the entire gathered faculty and staff that Chorney had been selected to represent the district as its Teacher of the Year. Chorney, who has taught at Vernon Township High School for all but four years of his 33-year career, was stunned by the news and accepted his colleagues’ congratulations with what they describe as “his typical humility.” A social studies and psychology teacher at Vernon High, Chorney was nominated by high school principal Tim Dunnigan. “Mr. Chorney is an integral part of the Social Studies Department, demonstrating a work ethic that allows every student in his class an equal opportunity to become successful,” Dunnigan said. “He is an individual of high moral character and develops lessons that help students recognize, develop and live by high ethical values.” In addition to his daily teaching responsibilities, Chorney, a board certified professional counselor, has updated and improved Vernon’s psychology and sociology curricula by standardizing goals, objectives, contents and obtaining curriculum approval by the State Department of Education. His psychology elective at the high school is very popular and students who have taken his college level course come back and tell how they “aced” their college psychology courses because they were so well prepared. Chorney also lectures at Kean University on psychology. An innovator Four years ago, he created a course called Personality Theories and he is in the process of completing a textbook to accompany it. Virtually every summer he has been invited by the National Endowment for the Humanities to participate in their summer institutes. He is also the New Jersey State Representative for the Bill of Rights Institute and gives lectures about the Bill of Rights with the state. “He is persistently applying for opportunities to explore primary texts and scholarly pursuits,” commented Mary Ann Kaicher, an English teacher who has been a colleague of Chorney at VTHS for more than two decades. His dedication has been noticed by others outside the school community, as well. Chorney was selected by the Wallkill Valley Memorial Post 8441 VFW for the Citizenship Education Teacher Award in 2004. In 2006 he was recognized by the Chinkchewunska Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution as State Teacher of the Year and was nominated for the Eastern Regional Teacher of the Year.